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Tuesday, February 27, 2024

Community groups, local MP ramp up Chinatown condo opposition

Community groups opposed to the rezoning of a vacant lot in Vancouver’s Chinatown held a press conference Friday ahead of next week’s council vote.

Chinese-Canadian veterans and community organizations held a joint press conference at the Chinese Veterans and Railway Workers Memorial Square at Keefer and Columbia, to reaffirm their opposition to the 105 Keefer rezoning.

Speakers included Vincent Kwan, executive director of the Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden, and David Choi, former chair of the Vancouver Economic Development Commission, among others. Jenny Kwan, Member of Parliament for Vancouver East was also in attendance.

Developer Beedie Living has been trying for several years to achieve city approval for a condo development on the site.

At recent rezoning application hearings, hundreds of speakers have opposed the development, saying it is inappropriate and out of context, and will contribute to the continuing gentrification of the neighbourhood.

“I do not support the rezoning application for 105 Keefer as I strongly believe that, if approved, it will erode the character of Chinatown and threaten its future,” said Jenny Kwan, NDP Member of Parliament for Vancouver East. 

“Chinatown’s architectural landscape is unique because it is home to many unique Chinese society heritage buildings, including that of the Mah Society of North America,” said Fred Mah, president of the Chinese Society Heritage Building Association and director of the Mah Society of North America. “The 105 Keefer condo tower proposed is void of any Chinatown character. It is simply too tall and too massive for the site.”

Vancouver city council will vote on the rezoning application on Tuesday, June 13.

105 Keefer fourth redesign
Latest design of 105 Keefer, which is facing stiff opposition from community members.

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Peter Meiszner
Peter Meiszner
Peter Meiszner is an experienced journalist and media relations professional, based in Vancouver. As founder of urbanYVR.com, he has been reporting on urban development across the Lower Mainland since 2016, and has also served as vice-chair of the Gastown Historic Area Planning Committee. In October 2022, he was elected to Vancouver city council and is no longer actively reporting for urbanYVR.

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